Home Industry Market War of words erupts between Intuit and Reckon over Quickbooks brand
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The war of words over QuickBooks between small business online accounting providers, Reckon and Intuit, continues as competition and the fight for marketshare in the sector heats up.

The battle for brand prominence was fuelled again today with a statement from the original creator of QuickBooks, Intuit, “reassuring all customers that the QuickBooks brand is here to stay in Australia.”

Intuit fired its statement into the market, three days after Reckon announced to the market that it has now released QuickBooks 2013 under a new name – Reckon Accounts – as well as introducing a number of compliance updates and new features to the accounting software.

And, today’s Intuit statement of reassurance to its customers has sparked yet another response from Reckon, this time from Group CEO, Clive Rabie, giving Reckon’s own reassurance to its customers that “QuickBooks accounting software will continue to be offered by Reckon for many years to come under the new name Reckon Accounts.”

Rabie reinforces the point made in the original announcement to change the name to Reckon Accounts, that only the product name has changed, and reassuring Reckon customers that “the hundreds of thousands of businesses that rely on Reckon’s business range of software, including the desktop products and hosted version, can continue to use it as they always have.

“We will also continue to expand the product functionality and provide support,” Rabie says.

Rabie also says that Reckon will launch a new cloud-based product in May called Reckon One. “I feel this new product reflects the next generation of cloud accounting software development and we welcome everyone to join us at the unveiling events being held in May.”

In today’s statement from Intuit, issued by the company’s public relations firm, Edelman, the PR spokesperson, Andrew Hamilton, in a comment on the decision by Reckon to drop the QuickBooks name, says “they are obviously trying to push the story that the QuickBooks brand will no longer be around so Intuit have put this response together just to clarify that the QuickBooks brand will still continue to thrive and serve customers in the Australian market.”

Announcing the name change on Tuesday, Reckon GM Business Division, Reckon Accounts, Pete Sanders, said “we’ve changed the name of our QuickBooks products to the Reckon Accounts business range and that is all. Under the new name we’ll continue to expand the product functionality and support users as we always have.”

Today, Intuit has reassured its customers that the brand is still very much a part of the Australian market, and Nora Tucker, Product Manager for QuickBooks Online Australia, says that “while Reckon is currently changing its desktop software away from the QuickBooks brand name, Intuit is reminding Australian customers that the QuickBooks brand you know and love will remain in Australia as the cloud-based offering QuickBooks Online.”

“We know how many Australian small business owners, accounting and bookkeeping professionals have relied upon the QuickBooks brand for many years and we know that the QuickBooks Online cloud-based solution that is now available will continue to be an asset in managing your finances,” Tucker said.

As pointed out by iTWire in a story earlier this week, the QuickBooks online product suffers from not having its own integrated payroll system and instead relying on a third party system.

And, commenting on the Reckon decision to drop the QuickBooks name, iTWire’s Stan Beer observed that the market is “watching with great interest to see whether Reckon’s parting of the ways with Intuit and its move into the cloud will see off the US interloper, shore up its existing business and leave it to concentrate on battling traditional rival MYOB and promising newcomer Xero.”

Clearly, the tit for tat between Reckon and Intuit over QuickBooks will continue as the battle for marketshare moves into the next phase. Meanwhile, today, Xero released its full year results for its Australia/New Zealand operation, revealing that its Australian business had overtaken New Zealand last month as the largest contributor to the company’s revenue growth in the ANZ region.

Xero also indicated plans to expand further in the Australian market, with the “imminent” opening of new offices in Brisbane and Perth.


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Peter Dinham


Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).